Humanities Library of the University of Florence in Piazza Brunelleschi
Firenze, Progetto preliminare, 2014 (Breschistudio Associati)
Alberto Breschi, Claudia Giannoni, Niccolò Bassilichi, Michele Argiolas, Gianluca Chiostri
Not an ex-novo project, but a ‘metamorphosis’ project that places itself as a part in a process of urban transformation and takes on the features of a project of ‘permanent re-conversion’. From the architectural point of view, the new Library completes the metamorphosis of the convent which thus assumes a precise connotation as an urban structure composed by architectural parts which reveal its complexity and historical depth. These are:
– The central nucleus of the old complex of Santa Maria degli Angioli, situated around the two cloisters, ex-premises of the Faculty of Architecture;
– The complex designed by the architect Fagnoni in the Sixties, which today houses the library and other educational facilities of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy;
– The restoration and transformation of the central cloister which now has a fundamental role as a sort of hinge between the individual parts, and with the insertion of a new function, expanding and increasing the Library with the addition of new content;
– The complete restoration of the small building built in the Sixties and Seventies, which today houses the ex-Department of Buildings in piazza Brunelleschi, and which could be transformed into a new architectural organism, with a more contemporary expression, more in tune with the new content of the New Humanities Library, projecting its image in the direction of piazza Brunelleschi. It is ultimately a Project with a strong urban value, which will find a new and specific role within its double function as a space suspended between university and city, and therefore at the service not only of students, but of wider and more complex strata and levels of users: in this perspective the square itself, today a banal empty space with form and function that are merely a residue of the built system around it, may become instead a place of maximum qualification of the meeting and interacting of a variety of functions.